I grew up on the outskirts of a village that has been subsumed by the city of Cape Town, with a peach orchard over the fence, huge oak trees in the garden, mountains in the distance, strong winds from the southeast in summer and northwest in winter, and miggies that come out at dusk. For 14 years I lived in the north of the Isle of Skye, three hours’ drive from a city, with rose and fuchsia hedges, mountains and islands in the distance, strong winds from any direction, and midges that come out when the wind drops. Then in the spring of 2022 I moved to live amongst the rolling wheatfields and wind turbines of Aberdeenshire, not too far from the coast but sheltered from the cold of the North Sea for a flower garden (and not a midge in sight).
I’m a studio painter and a fair-weather plein-air painter, sketching and painting on location when it’s sunny and in my studio when it’s wild. I enjoy working with oils, watercolour and acrylics. The former because if I’m caught out in a rain shower the painting doesn’t wash away. The latter because they dry fast, enabling me to work quickly, layer upon layer, building my way to a painting. The quick drying-time lends an urgency to the creation process, breathing vitality into the mark making. I like to think that energetically applied paint conveys the fast-changing weather and light conditions in Scotland, while fluid paint allowed to run creates a sense of the frequent rain. It’s a dance between still-wet and dry, deliberate and serendipitous, abstract and representational.
By looking repeatedly at particular locations, and painting the various moods of these, I aim to create layered paintings that contain multiple memories of a location or subject. Paintings not limited to what meets the eye at a finite moment, that tell different stories when you view them from a distance and up close. I thrive on returning to the same subjects time and again as there’s always something else I see or another way I might paint it. You can’t step in the same river twice.
WHERE TO SEE MY AVAILABLE PAINTINGS:
In my studio by arrangement (email me) and depending on where you (and I) am, we could arrange to meet up. Selected prints available at Dandelion Designs Gallery in Stein, Skye.
WHEN did I write on Painting for About.com? It was for 12 years, from 2002 to 2014. To read my articles as I wrote them, use WayBackMachine.